New Media, Web 2.0, Social Media: A Look Back in Pictures Over 5 Years of the Web [2007-2011]

After about 4 1/2 years, New Comm Biz is quickly approaching 1,000 blog posts and I’m starting to feel a little nostalgic. I’ve worked at 5 different companies over that time (I started this blog when I left the first one) and changed jobs many more times. Each job change has had a curious effect on my job titles. I was once the Director of New Media and the Web 2.0 Strategic Lead as well as the Director and VP of Social Media. Now I’ve finally gotten to a point where I can drop all of that and just be a VP of Digital Strategies. I doubt I’ll have to change that any time soon.

A year and a half ago I did a post detailing social media up until that point, The Evolution of New Media, Web 2.0, Social Media, Social Business: A Brief History of Everything, this time I thought I’d do the same thing but instead use pictures.

Recently I was looking through my Flickr account, which is an account I’ve actually had longer than this blog, and I noticed that I have many screen shots of what the Web looked like during this short, but rich, nearly 5 years. I thought I would share these photo’s with you with a little commentary about them.  I’ve placed all the pictures roughly in the year that I took them.


The Fail Whale was a mainstay of the Web for so long, I kind of miss it. It was during this time in 2007 that most people didn’t believe that Twitter was much of anything or that it would even be around very long. Those of us that knew Twitter was something special, something different would have to wait about another 2 years before people started to take us seriously.

New Media didn’t last long. Web 2.0 was quickly became THE buzz word. And there was lots of buzz


Twhirl was the first real Twitter client and the first one (that I remember that used AIR. Tweetdeck followed quickly and introduced columns. Twhirl had separate instances for each application but it really failed to continue to innovate the way Tweetdeck did. That is until it was acquired by this video company called Seesmic, which then pivoted and became the company it is today based on Twhirl’s strategy. 
Twhirl then set off a wave of AIR applications. Tweetdeck and Pandora are pictured here with Twhirl.

It was during this time in 2008 when Web 2.0 was really taking off and I was at HP that I got an early demo of this brand new monitoring company called Radian 6. I got a demo from the CMO, David Alston.

2008 was a really fun year. We even saw the first signs of the mobile wave yet to come. Brightkite was one of the first geolocation services out there. It was a victim of being a little too early to market. Sadly it’s now dead.


In 2009 things got serious. The recession couldn’t stop the rise of Web 2.0 as it transitioned into Social Media. Social media became the killer feature for everything and this was first hinted at with social search. Something Google almost missed.

Icerocket and dozens of other services sprang up as a way to search mostly Twitter but quickly added lots of other services.

This was one of the very appealing things about the much buzzed about FriendFeed. It’s search was by far the best.

Eventually Google did get in the game near the end of 2009, briefly.

Twitter was so much at the center of attention that Brizzly and other services continued to pop up -

and eventually even Twitter had to start innovating (kind of) and introduced the retweet capability.


Which brings us to the near present of 2010. Things started to solidify and consolidate and we see the real rise of mobile.

And hey remember Twhirl that got but by Seesmic that pivoted? They keep coming out with lots of different desktop apps.

I must admit that I actually don’t have very many good pictures of 2009 I think because so much of what was happening was in the mobile space. So let’s move on, shall we?


In 2010 social media went mainstream, and it saw a huge up take in Facebook stepping up their game.


If you are still with me and if you looked through my Flickr like I did watching the Web change you would think that the Web disappeared sometime during late 2010. The rest of 2010 and so far all of 2011 the rest of my photo’s are taken via mobile.

The biggest change was that the World went mobile. And I can tell you it’s a lot prettier now. Which is probably why Twitter recently introduced their new photo feature.

So those are the photo’s I have. Do you have any? You can leave pictures in the comments. I’d love to see what gems you have.

About Tac Anderson

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.
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